No matter where you travel, insects can be a fact of life. If you are planning a trip to the great outdoors– whether beach or mountains --,an ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure. Here is what you should know about insect bites and how to prevent them.
Insect bites usually fall into two different categories: venomous and non-venomous, as explained below.
Biting & Stinging Insects
Venomous: Bees, wasps, hornets, ants
Non-Venomous: Mosquitoes, chiggers, sand flies, fleas, bugs, ticks, lice.
The difference between venomous and non-venomous insects is that venomous insects will attack as a defense mechanism, injecting painful or even lethal toxic venom through their sting. Non-Venomous insects bite to feed off your blood. Although you will experience redness and irritation at the site of a non-venomous bite site, thankfully severe allergic reactions only happen from venomous stings. Biting insects do however spread diseases such as Malaria, Lyme disease, Typhus and Yellow Fever.; but for the most part their bites are simply annoying and cause itching.
Tips to Prevent Bites & Stings
- Wear Protective Clothing – the occurrence of bites and stings can be minimized by wearing long sleeve shirts and pants which reduces the amount of exposed skin.
- Apply Repellent – applying repellent to both your skin and clothing can also increase protection. Don’t forget to apply repellent to shoes, tents, mosquito nets and other gear you will take with you.
Repellents containing DEET (N, N-diethylmeta-toluamide) are readily available. When applied to your clothing these repellents are very effective against mosquitoes and ticks. For more information on DEET, visit www.deet.com
Repellents such as MozzyOff are made from plant oils and provide up to 6 hours of protection from biting insects. This repellent is biodegradable, the packaging is recycled and recyclable, and unlike synthetic products, will not harm synthetic materials. For more information on MozzyOff, visit www.mozzyoff.com